MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks utilized by a number of NATO armed forces, especially the British Army and the United States Army. The system's modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing as rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for the attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. This method of attachment has become a de facto standard for modular tactical gear, replacing the ALICE system used in the earliest modular vest systems (which is still in use with many police forces). It is produced for the United States government under contract by several contractors, such as Ehmke Manufacturing/High Ground Gear, as well as Eagle Industries.
Tactical Assault Panel
The Tactical Assault Panel replaces the fighting load carrier. It is a bib-like chest rig that can be used alone or mounted on the Improved Outer Tactical Vest or Soldier Plate Carrier System. The T.A.P. is covered with PALS webbing and storage for up to eight rifle magazines(6 - 5.56 magazines + 2 - 7.62 NATO magazines or 8 - 5.56 magazines).
The MOLLE 2 Rucksack and Rucksack Frame has PALS webbing stitched at places to allow for additional pouches. The Current Assault pack is being phased out in favor of a larger medium-sized rucksack.
Plastic 100 US fl oz (3.0 l) hydration bladder to supplement the 1 US qt (0.95 l) and 5 US qt (4.7 l) canteens for on-the-go hydration.
Pouches of various utility that can be attached wherever PALS webbing exists. One type is a "sustainment pouch", which holds three MREs. Molle pouches currently are commonly used to carry ammunition, gas masks, batons, flares, grenades, handcuffs and pepper spray, and custom pouches include Molle compatible pistol holders, hydration pouches and utility pouches. These pouches are normally secured through the use of straps, alice clips or speedclips.
Main article: Pouch Attachment Ladder System
The term MOLLE is used not only to describe the specific system manufactured by Speciality Defense Systems, but also interchangeably to describe generically all load bearing systems and subsystems that utilize the woven PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing for modular pouch attachment (though MOLLE is proprietary to Natick Labs, most use MOLLE and PALS interchangeably). Derivatives based on the MOLLE attachment method (such as the Tactical Tailor MALICE clip system) have also been developed. Any system that utilizes modular attachment methods and is usable with U.S. general issue MOLLE components is often considered "MOLLE-compatible" or is called a "MOLLE" system. Increasingly, non-military manufacturers are incorporating MOLLE technology into outdoor equipment.
There are three general modes of attachment in the MOLLE arena; the "Natick Snap", which uses a polyethlyene reinforced webbing strap with the 'pushthedot' snap for security; the polymer "Malice" clip, developed by Tactical Tailor as an alternative to the Natick Snap concept, which interweaves like the Natick Snap but terminates in a semi-permanent closure that requires a screwdriver or other flat-tipped object to disengage; and a variety of attachments that fall into the "Weave & Tuck" category, in which the end of an interwoven strap is tucked into an item's backing after attachment to a vest or pack (Paraclete's SofStrap and Spec Ops Brand's hybrid attachment).
The PALS grid consists of horizontal rows of 1 in (2.5 cm) webbing, spaced 1 in apart, and reattached to the backing at 1.5 in (3.8 cm) intervals.
A hydration pack is a type of hydration system built as a backpack or waist pack containing a reservoir or "bladder" commonly made of rubber or flexible plastic. The reservoir contains a capped mouth for filling with liquid and a hose that allows the wearer to drink hands-free. Most hoses end with a "bite valve" that opens when the user bites down on it; the valve may be protected by a dust cover. Some hydration packs are insulated to keep water from freezing or becoming warm.
The size of the reservoir can vary widely depending on brand and the purpose of the hydration pack. Some hydration packs are extremely small and minimalist, designed to add as little load as possible while running or cycling, while others are more suited for backpacking and extended hikes, equipped with huge bladders. Bladder sizes can range from as little as 50 ounces all the way up to 400+ ounce packs.
Some hydration packs include additional storage space in the form of zipper pockets or mesh pouches, while others are simply a means to affix the hydration bladder to the back for easy carrying. Pressurized hydration bladders are included on some models which allow the hose to spray water or even move water through an in-line filter before drinking.
Hydration packs are commonly used for outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, bicycling, and kayaking, as well as for military maneuvers, often dubbed the Camelback hydration system or camel bag in this context.